A former coal region in Germany is attempting to transform itself: At the beginning of March 2021, in the city of Cottbus, German environment minister Svenja Schulze and Minister President of Brandenburg Dietmar Woidke started work on a new center of excellence. The PtX Lab Lausitz aims to become a think tank, discussion platform and launch pad for new projects focusing on green hydrogen and its derived products within Europe. Funding comes from an investment of around EUR 180 million from the structural enhancement law in the run-up to 2024.
Efforts to transform the energy sector have so far focused on increasing renewable generation capacity to lay the foundation for a future energy system. This has made the use of electricity in the heat and transportation markets all the more important, since electric power is an efficient means of generating and using renewable sources of energy.
Renewable gases or power-to-X are essential to meeting climate protection goals because they provide cost-effective solutions for reducing GHG emissions from vehicles, heat generation devices and power production systems, for storing energy long term or for using the final products as chemical raw materials.
For a long time, the wind power industry had no interest in energy storage, because it was much more lucrative to feed the power generated directly into the public grid. However, the end of the 20 years of guaranteed feed-in payments for the first turbines in Germany is in sight. Because of this, operators and planners, including Reinhard Christiansen, are looking for alternatives.
HYPOS has been successful in making the transition from an idea on the drawing board to a big consortium that has sparked a variety of projects. Ten years ago, almost nobody knew of the combined hydrogen expertise in mid-Germany. Now, HYPOS has amassed a network of 116 partners, 75 from business and 41 from the scientific community.
The energy transformation needs efficient storage solutions and technologies for heat conversion. One of the institutions playing an important role in advancing the transformation of the energy sector is the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, ISE, in Freiburg. Increasing interest in energy storage technologies as well as efficient heating and cooling processes has led to an expansion of ISE’s